Date: 17th May 2010 at 10:08am
Written by:

Wswilly3 sent Vital Manchester City the following.

Let’s imagine our first team squad for next season will comprise of 24 players backed up by 10 of our up and coming youngsters such as Boyata, Cunningham, Weiss, Vidal, Niemely, Ball, McGivern etc. This would mean at least two players for every position but with genuine back up from the players that at some stage need to be given a chance, if they are to prove whether or not they can make it to the first team.

I am suggesting the 24 in the first team squad is split in the following way – two goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders and five strikers supported by the 10 named academy players, who should be used as backup when the need arises or be sent on loan with re-call clauses, if there was the need through injuries etc.

I have also taken into account whilst doing this that any team can only successfully absorb so many players into their ranks and my suggestion is to recruit six new players, all of which have to be proven at the highest level.

So let’s look at each category against our current playing staff to get a more analytical approach to which positions and players, I believe we need to strengthen or release.

Goalkeepers: We currently have five on our books and I would argue we need two for the first team squad and one for the reserves as a long term back-up:

Stay as first team
Shay Given
Joe Hart

Stuart Taylor
Marton Fulop

Stay as back up
Gunnar Nielssen

Defenders: We currently have fourteen on our books of which five are ex-academy and who have not yet made the breakthrough into regular football for the first team. This leaves nine first team squad defenders and I would argue we need to release/transfer out at least two and probably three of these and sign up two better replacements:

Stay as first team
Joleon Lescott
Vincent Kompany
Kolo Toure
Pablo Zabaleta
Nedum Onuaha
Wayne Bridge

Micah Richards – should be transferred
Javier Garrido – should be released
Sylvinho – should be released

Centre – half
Left sided defender

Stay as back -up or loaned out with recall clause

Midfielders: We currently have 12 on our books of which two Ibrahim and Weiss are ex-academy and arguably need to be used as back up when the need arises. Of the remaining ten we have five wide players (Bellamy, SWP, Adam Johnson, Petrov and Etuhu) and five central midfield players (Barry, Vieira, Michael Johnson, de Jong, Ireland).

I would argue we need at least nine midfielders in the first team squad but that we definitely need some new blood in the form of two or perhaps three new players (one wide and two central) which would mean at least three and maybe four of the current midfield leaving. Three candidates to leave I believe are obvious, (Petrov, Vieira, Etuhu) but the key issue is whether we transfer out Stephen Ireland or Michael Johnson or keep them both and only add two new players.

On balance I have kept both but am painfully aware we do need a real freshening up in this area and Ireland and/or Johnson needs to give a big season.

Stay as first team
Craig Bellamy
Adam Johnson
Shaun Wright Phillips
Gareth Barry
Nigel de Jong
Michael Johnson (if fit)
Stephen Ireland

Patrick Vieira
Martin Petrov
Kelvin Etuhu

Creative mid-fielder
Wide player

Stay as back-up or loaned out with re-call clause

Forwards: We currently have nine on our books of which one is ex-academy (Niemely and with Ball should be used as back up, when needed) and four are to me obvious to be moved on (Benjani, Caceido, Bojinov and Jo). Thus we have four left (Adebayor, Tevez, RSC and Robinho) and arguably the need for at least five top class strikers.

Given that the prospect of Robinho failing to return I believe there is a case for recruiting two new world class strikers and possibly keeping with RSC as a further back up in case of injuries and suspensions.

Stay as first team
Carlos Tevez

Should be released/transferred

World class striker
World class striker

Stay as back-up with recall clause

Conclusion: So what do you think? I am suggesting we get in six new ‘proven’ top class players – two at the back, two in midfield and two strikers and that we release or transfer twelve players that could be termed first-teamers, although only Richards, Robinho, Jo and Bojinov would be likely to command a reasonable fee. This seems to me a reasonable balance as any more upheaval may well be counter productive. I would be interested to hear from all you fellow Vital Manchester City bloggers whether you think more surgery than I have suggested is needed.


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